Sunday, 19 August 2012

Oligarch Alexander Lebedev criticizes the Pussy Riot sentence

Dictator Putin will never reform the justice system of Russia.

It is of course good that Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev - co-owner of the Moscow pro-democracy newspaper Novaya Gazeta and the UK Evening Standard and Independent - criticizes the Pussy Riot sentence

The jail sentences handed to the three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot are a totally disproportionate punishment for their ‘crime’ – expressing dissent by staging a protest against Vladimir Putin in Russia’s main church.
Their plight has exposed to the world the total lack of impartiality in Russia’s legal system and opened our country to international ridicule.
President Putin maintains that he had no say in the state-run court’s decision, but he should take a stand against the country’s corrupt, inefficient and extremely powerful bureaucracy by showing the young women leniency.

However, Lebedev cannot seriously believe that the de facto dictator Putin had no say in the courts decision!

And even less can the oligarch believe that Putin, by pardoning the girls, would signal that he is willing to make "sweeping reforms to the justice system"!: 

Sweeping reforms must be made to the justice system – and pardoning Pussy Riot would send  a strong signal to the world that Putin is willing to make them.

If Putin actually would pardon the Pussy Riot members, it would only be for tactical reasons, in the face of increasing domestic and international condemnation. Lebedev of course knows quite well that Putin´s mafia state can be reformed only by removing its creator. Bu he probably still has so many economic interests in Russia that he does not want to rock the boat too much. 

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